The last knockings of a remarkable summer, as September slides into October: Cornwall – landscapes, both ancient and modern, and those innerscapes we so rarely take the time to see, let alone appreciate. Thank goodness for holidays, time to wait for lighting, perspective and detail to illustrate and illuminate the world around us.
St Michael’s Mount: even as the summer fades, flowers, both wild and cultivated, are still in bloom, some so bold they wouldn’t look amiss on the walls of Tate St Ives up the road. Natural Modernism, complementing the bold colours and shapes of the Patrick Herons. And where there are flowers there are insects…with spiders waiting their turn.
At St Ives, ‘twixt cobalt skies and azure seas, traditional seaside pursuits run alongside modern art and architecture. While everywhere there is natural art: rocks splashed with lichens; dappled sunlight filtering through Japanese anemones, illuminating the hairs on a Tobacco flower, and the start of next year’s hoverfly population.
Truro Cathedral – only a century old, but beautiful and artistically inspiring.
Revisiting the delights of rockpooling, with topshell and limpet.
Windswept, salt-pruned hedgerows, and hidden hollow-ways.
Ivy everywhere, its intoxicating scent attracting insects galore to late-season riches: Honeybee, Ivy Bee and Painted Lady.
Oaks also demonstrating their role in supporting the web of life: galls on every leaf and branch – artichoke, silk-button and spangles, miniwasps with very different larval homes.
In the race to feed before leaves fall, plants being pierced by bugs – Squash, Spittle and Green Shield – and munched by leaf-beetles and caterpillars – Alder Sawfly in its woolly extruded coat, and a Pale Tussock moth larva in defensive posture.
Even on a fairly dull day, Hedge Bindweed seems to generate its own sunlight.
And finally some birds. Kingfisher and Dipper in the River Fowey, loved by all. Not so perhaps the ubiquitous Herring Gulls, but really it is us intruding in their space, not the other way around. Struggling in the ‘natural’ world, who can deny them a piece of their pasty?